Permaculture Discovery Part I

So the list below that kind of goes on is the comprehensive one I was given in my Permaculture Design Certification class. It covers a lot, but I like Dave Holgrem’s Design Principles below those because his seem clear, practical and easy to understand. I’ll enjoy discussing them at the beginning of the year with my Permaculture Discovery partners as we explore how to use the principles and ethics to live full, abundant and holistic lives.

We’ll start by working with water in the landscape. When we are done listening and playing games, we’ll be staking out a swale on the steep hill in my backyard using a simple triangle rigged with a homemade plumb bob and center line. See the video below.

The second gathering will work on sheet mulching an area in one of our yards. See instructions and example in the second video below.  Happy Permaculture experimenting in 2011.

Ethics (core moral values)

Care of Earth

Care of People

Redistribute the Surplus

Principles (fundamental tenets or rules for conduct)

Observe and Interact with Natural Systems

Practice Conservation

Value Diversity and Edges


Many Functions for each Element

Many Elements for each Function

Catch and Store Energy

Appropriate Scale

Attitudes (manners, feelings, positions to guide action)

The problem is the solution

Yield is only limited by the imagination of the designer

Least change for the greatest effect

Relinquish power

Integrate rather than segregate

Respond creatively to change

Strategies (goals to prioritize and focus efforts)

Too many to list – specific to a particular system or area of interest

e.g. Water

Capture and store the water on site

Use water as many times as possible in the system

Conserve water as much as possible

Water leaving the system should be clean

Techniques (specific methods for obtaining a goal)

Too many to list – specific to a particular system or area of interest

e.g. Water

Dig swales on sloped land to spread it-slow it-sink it

Use a front-loading washing machine

Install a rooftop rainwater catchment system

Capture and use greywater

David Holgrem’s Permaculture Design Principles

1)Observe and Interact
2) Catch and Store Energy
3) Obtain a Yield
4) Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback
5) Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
6) Produce No Waste
7) Design from Patterns to Details
8) Integrate Rather than Segregate
9) Use Small and Slow Solutions
10) Use and Value Diversity
11) Use Edges and Value the Marginal
12) Creatively Use and Respond to Change


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